menu

Seth Godin: Six Things About Deadlines

Seth Godin: Six Things About Deadlines
Advertising

How to use the power of deadlines to your advantage.

Seth Godin
  • 8 june 2010

1. People don’t like deadlines. They mean a decision, shipping and risk. They force us to decide.

2. Deadlines work. Products that are about to disappear, auctions that are about to end, tickets that are about to sell out–they create forward motion.

3. Deadlines make people do dumb things. Every time I offer a free digital document or an educational event that has a deadline, I can guarantee I will hear from several (or dozens of) people with ornate, well-considered and thoughtful arguments as to why they missed the deadline. Never mind that they had two weeks… the last fifteen minutes are all they are concerned with. If it’s important enough to spend an hour complaining about, it’s certainly important enough to spend four minutes to just do it in the first place.

4. Deadlines give you the opportunity to beat the rush. Handing in work just a little bit early is a sure-fire way to tell a positive story and get the attention you seek. The chart below tracks the day (out of 10) that I received each of the more than a thousand applications for the free nano MBA program. Want to guess which day’s applications got the most attention from me?

5. When we set ourselves a deadline, we’re incredibly lax about sticking to it. So don’t (set it for yourself, in your head, informally). Write it down instead. Hand it to someone else. Publicize it. Associate it with an external reward or punishment. If you don’t make the deadline, your friend gives the $20 you loaned her to a cause you disagree with…

6. They have a lousy name. Call them live-lines instead. That’s what they are.

Key takeaway: Deadlines are a cheap and useful tool to for yourself (and others) to make a decision and to ship.

Seth Godin is the author of twelve books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change and work. His latest book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

will shake up the way you think about what you do all day (and how you do it). Republished with kind permission.

Advertising
Trending

How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Retail
Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Work

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Related Expert

Andrew Bosworth

Facial Recognition

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

Retail september 23, 2016

Live Beacon Simplifies Cloud Sharing For Businesses

The battery-powered device and smartphone app allow anyone to send location-specific content without the hassle of code or hardware

No search results found.